November may not be everyone’s first choice for a short break on the Isle Of Man, but why not? This year the Government there had extended the holiday season until the end of November, giving access to most of the island’s wonderful museums and heritage sites. For me and two friends it was more about the adventure than soaking up history this time.
Our ferry crossing from Heysham on the Steam Packet vessel ‘Mannanan’ started off with beautiful weather and relatively calm seas. As we neared Douglas however some of us were turning a little green!
The seafront at Douglas looked rather vulnerable with waves crashing over right outside our hotel. Apart from blustery winds the weather was actually quite good and pleasantly mild for the time of year.
To The Laxey Wheel
On our first day we ventured north up the coast to the famous Laxey Wheel. Journey via the electric tram would have been nice, but we had to travel by bus as the tram season had ended. I met a ‘friendly local’ in the form of a ginger cat (with tail on this occasion). The cat actually followed us all the way from the village to the wheel; a walk of about half a mile, so it felt like we had our own guide!
Here we are; myself and ex newspaper colleagues, Andrea & Suey. The classic photo next to the imposing wheel that is probably the island’s best known tourist attraction.
Across The Island To Peel
An absolute favourite place of mine is the pretty seaside town of Peel on the west coast. We had a mix of sunshine and showers, which I captured on camera.
They say that Peel is the most Manx of towns on the island. Narrow streets, pretty houses and shops as well as the castle, with a backdrop of rolling hills and rugged coastline, make this a delight for visitors.
South To Castletown and Port Erin
Castletown is the ancient capital of the island and with it’s pretty harbour and large intact castle should not be missed.
The tranquil harbour is a picture of stillness. Round the corner however, waves were crashing over the harbour walls and lighthouse, making for a dramatic scene. A must for me to capture the action with my trusty compact camera.
I had to wait patiently for a big wave, which I watched licking the harbour wall and lighthouse. Having the sun out certainly helped add contrast and colour. Doesn’t the sea look so clean? It was a sight to behold and I watched for some time before we retreated for a coffee.
Near the southern tip of the island is Port Erin. Just attractive little place on the coast; a handful of shops and hotels surrounding a pretty cove. Apart from (had they been running when we visited) a ride on the narrow gauge steam railway, the highlight for me is Bradda Head. Its a short hike from the town to Milner’s Tower sitting high on the cliffs, with a fabulous view if you climb to the top.
On my landscape shot from Bradda Head I preferred the view from the foot of the tower for my photo, so I could have the rocks on the foreground. It was actually so windy at the top of the tower that I wasn’t sure if I could hold the camera steady anyway!
It was the view looking back on our way down however, that caught my imagination the most.
I underexposed this shot to give the impression of the sun going down. It also showed off the lovely cloud formation.